Global Vendor Managers, Walmart.com Discounts, Amazon Posts

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Global Vendor Managers
Amazon is approaching some manufacturers about investing in a global vendor manager. Amazon has historically had this offering, and it was primarily focused around expanding assortment, which may or may not make sense given the market. However, the program is now being positioned as a way to truly drive a brands’ growth in international markets. If you are an Amazon vendor looking to expand internationally, this may be a program that is worth discussing with your Amazon contact.

Source: walmart.com

Walmart Subsidizing Vendors to Undercut Amazon
Bloomberg reported this week that Walmart has introduced a program, called Competitive Price Adjustment, on its marketplace site to temporarily lower prices for consumers. These price cuts are being funded by Walmart with sellers receiving the full amount listed before the price cuts. These cuts appear aimed directly at competing with Amazon, who has also at times offered similar Amazon-funded price cuts on items listed in its marketplace. For brands, this seems like an opportunity to drive sales growth without the typical margin headwind that comes from offering promotional discounts. However, it also potentially creates issues around brand integrity and risks upsetting other channels. 

Source: CRC LiveCast, October 16, 2019. n=47; Amazon app

Amazon Posts
Amazon recently started inviting brands to participate in a new content program calls Posts. This program follows Amazon shutting down its failed social network Spark, several months ago. While this new program is not exactly social media, the content itself and how consumers scroll through it is reminiscent of apps like Instagram. Currently, the content shows up at the bottom of product detail pages, meaning it is unlikely to generate much traffic. Amazon will likely experiment with different placements on the site to determine if in fact this ends up being well-received by consumers. Polling results from this week’s LiveCast suggest only a minority of companies are currently participating as invites just recently went out. We encourage manufacturers to participate, so long as it does not require a meaningful incremental investment in content, considering the program is just getting started.

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